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Naim and Shailla Gupta family papers

Identifier: MSS-395

Content Description

This collection includes correspondence, theses, unpublished works, family history notes, and other materials pertinent to the Shailla and Naim Gupta family of Muncie, Indiana ranging from 1932 to 2021.


  • 1932 - 2021

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Naim Gupta was born July 21, 1932, in Nagina, a village 60 miles from New Delhi, to Suraj Mal Chand and Kapoori Devi, the youngest of six children. He attended high school 35 miles away from his hometown and resided in a hostel during this period.

Shailla Gupta was born August 31, 1936, the third of four children born to Shree Sriram Gupta and Sharbati. Her mother passed away on October 13, 1940 when Shailla was only four years old. Her father eventually married Kamala Devi in February of 1941. Through this marriage, Shailla had six half-siblings.

When Naim was working as a lecturer at Malvani, Shree Sriram visited him to give Naim a photograph of his daughter Shailla. Naim agreed to meet Shailla, and they met under the supervision of Shailla’s sister and exchanged photographs. They married on July 14, 1959 in a traditional wedding ceremony.

In 1961, Naim graduated with his master's degree in Education from University of Delhi, and he set his sights on attending graduate school in the United States. On August 5th, 1961, Naim and Shailla departed the Old Delhi Railway Station for Bombay with multiple family members attending to send them off. Once in Bombay, they boarded the P&O Orion headed for the Tilbury, England port. Their journey was an eventful one, as they were able to stop in Aden, Cairo, Naples, Marseille, and Gibraltar for short times to tour the cities. Once in Tilbury, they traveled by train to London where they boarded a Pan Am flight to New York on September 2, 1961. They arrived in Cedar Falls, Iowa on September 9th, 1961 to begin Naim’s graduate assistantship at the State College of Iowa (later, University of Northern Iowa). In the summer of 1962, they moved to Iowa City to begin Naim’s PhD program at the University of Iowa. Shailla also attended the University of Iowa to pursue a master's degree. During their time in Iowa City, the couple gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Himanee, on November 9th, 1962.

Upon graduation in 1965, Naim and Shailla moved to Cleveland, Ohio where Naim secured a teaching position. They welcomed their second daughter, Nisha, on February 15th, 1966. After living in Cleveland for about two years, Naim accepted a position as Professor of Education at Ball State University. The couple and their two children arrived in Muncie on August 23, 1966. Only four months later, the couple would welcome their third daughter, Anju, on December 28th, 1966.

In 1967, Naim successfully petitioned the University to allow international professors the ability to apply for tenure.

Muncie would become the Guptas’ home for over fifty years, residing at 4000 Woodway Drive. They remained active in the community during this time: Naim acted as the chair of Ball State University’s International Programs and was a member of the local Kiwanis Club. Shailla founded the International Wives Club and owned the Gupta Hobby Center at 1701 W. Jackson Street. They also maintained a close friendship with Dr. Richard W. Burkhardt and Dorothy Burkhardt.

Naim retired from Ball State University in 1993 at the age of 60. The Guptas remained in Muncie until 2021, when they moved to Minnesota to be closer to family.


1 Cubic Feet (2 archival boxes, 1 oversized box)

Language of Materials



Custodial History

This collection was received as a donation on 2021-07-09 by Naim and Shailla Gupta.


Further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processing completed 2022/04/06 by Lindsey Vesperry. Finding aid generated 2022/04/06 by Lindsey Vesperry.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA